masque to the shops and coffee-houses, and all the evening to the operas and halls. Then I have danced, good gods i hmv have I danced! l The Italians are fond to a degree of our country dances: Cold and raw they only know by the tune ; BlowzyMla is almost Italian, and Buttered peas is Pizelli al l)uro. There are but three days more ; but the two last are to have balls all the morning at the fine unfinished palace of the Strozzi; and the Tuesday night a masquerade after supper: they sup first, to eat gras, and not encroach upon Ash-Wednesday. What makes masquerading more agreeable here than in England, is the great deference that is showed to the disguised. Here they do not catch at those little dirty opportunities of saying any ill-natured thing they know of you, do not abuse you because they may, or talk gross bawdy to a woman of quality. I found the other day, by a play of Etheridge's, that we have had a sort of Carnival even since the Eeformation; 'tis in She would if She could, they talk of going a-mumming in Shrove-tide.
After talking so much of diversions, I fear you will attribute to them the fondness I own I contract for Florence ; but it has so many other charms, that I shall not want excuses for my taste. The freedom of the Carnival has given me opportunities to make several acquaintances ; and if I have not found them refined, learned, polished, like some other cities, yet they are civil, good-natured, and fond of the English. Their little partiality for themselves, opposed to the violent vanity of the French, makes them very amiable in my eyes. I can give you a comical instance of their great prejudice about nobility; it happened yesterday. While we were at dinner at Mr. Mann'sz, word was brought
LETTER 24.—l Curmingliam notes of Chelsea Hospital. He was Min-
tliat this is a parody of a line in later at the Court of Tuscaby, 1740-
Nathaniel Lee's Alexander the Great. 86; cr. a Baronet, 1755 ; K.B., 1768;
2 Horace (1701-1786), second son d. unmarried at Florence, aged
of Robert Mann, Deputy-Treasurer eighty-five, N"ov. 1786, having never